Take care, older pedestrians

All of the things that we teach our children to survive in traffic are equally applicable to older pedestrians

Older pedestrians are less likely to survive a collision than younger people.

It is also a fact of life that aging brings with it a reduction in perceptual abilities such as poorer vision, depth perception and increased chance of confusion. Add bad walking habits to the mix and an already-risky situation becomes worse.

All of the things that we teach our children to survive in traffic are equally applicable to older pedestrians.

Use a sidewalk if one is available, otherwise, walk facing the traffic. This will either remove you from the normal path of motor vehicles or allow you to watch them approach and decide to get out of the way if necessary.

Cross at intersections or in marked crosswalks after stopping to look and listen carefully. Hearing loss coupled with very quiet automobiles requires that an older pedestrian use all of the senses available to them to avoid stepping out in front of an approaching vehicle.

If you are walking at twilight or in the dark, at least wear light coloured clothing. Better still, wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight. Consider the purchase of a flashing light band meant to be worn on an arm or a clip on light for your belt.

You cannot be too visible!

The author is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit www.drivesmartbc.ca.

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